UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Twins Kayla and Leah Peterson accounted for five goals but it wasn't enough as Vanderbilt suffered a 17-10 loss to No. 9 Penn State on Sunday.
The Commodores (3-4) were hindered by a depleted roster as three starters came down with the stomach flu on top of lead draw specialist Kelly Chandler being done for the season as she suffered a season-ending knee injury nearly two weeks ago. They never led and lost their fourth straight as Penn State led by as many as nine in the second half.
"We continue to face adversity and have to keep doing our best to overcome it," head coach Cathy Swezey said. "The bright spots on the day were strong performances from freshmen. Otherwise, our consistency has to improve. Our defense had a stellar first half but did not maintain that level in the second half. Our first attack started slow, but found the net more in the second half. This is cliche but we have to find a way to play a full 60-minute game."
The Nittany Lions (5-2) scored the game's first goal and Jill Doherty briefly tied it for Vanderbilt. But Penn State answered 24 seconds later for the first of three straight and never relinquished the lead and took a 7-2 edge into halftime.
For the second straight game, freshman Kayla Peterson collected a hat trick with all three goals coming in the second half and she also had two assists for a career-high five-point game. Twin sister Leah Peterson also added a career-high two goals in the second half. Alexa Kunowsky also added two goals in the second half. Mallory Schonk, Caroline Peters and Doherty also scored. Emma Dagres and Peters each had two assists and Doherty added an assist.
Both teams had plenty of opportunities with a combined 69 shots. The Commodores, however, were only able to convert a third of their shots though, making 10 of 30.They also were hurt by mistakes with 17 turnovers despite winning the draw control 16-13.
Vanderbilt plays next on the road at No. 12 Louisville at noon on Wednesday.